What If Kobe Bryant Had Been Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers?
As every NBA fan knows, Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft, and was then immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for veteran center Vlade Divac.
In La-La Land, Bryant developed into one of the game's most dynamic scorers and helped lead the Lakers to four NBA championships. He also picked up a MVP trophy along the way.
But, what if Bryant hadn't slipped all the way down to the 13th pick and was selected by his hometown Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 1 overall pick?
If that would have happened, the entire sports world would have thought the Sixers were out of their minds to pass up on top prospects such as Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Stephon Marbury, and even Shareef Abdur-Rahim for a little-known high schooler.
Ultimately, Kobe would have made the Sixers organization look like geniuses, since he proved to be light years ahead of any of his draft classmates.
Much like his career as a Laker, Bryant would have started out off the bench and then worked his way into the starting lineup, because high school draft picks usually weren't starters right off the bat in those days.
Instead of backing up Eddie Jones, like he did in L.A., Bryant would have played behind Jerry Stackhouse, who was the Sixers 1995 lottery pick.
Bryant would have teamed with Stackhouse to form one of the league's most exciting young scoring duos, while both could easily average over 20 points per game.
But, of course, it wouldn't have taken long for the two stars to begin to feud with one another, just like Iverson and Stackhouse did during their brief time together as Sixers. There were two potent scorers, but only one ball.
Stackhouse would have eventually been dealt away and who knows, maybe the Sixers would have taken yet another gamble and drafted European star Dirk Nowitzki in 1998.
Undoubtedly, Bryant and Nowitzki would have emerged as one of the league's top dynamic duos and possibly led the Sixers to a couple of titles if they were complemented by the proper cast of role players.
However, Sixer fans will never know just what kind of impact Kobe Bryant would have had in Philadelphia because they passed on the future Hall-of-Famer and took Allen Iverson instead.
Nothing against Iverson. He turned out to be a heck of a ball player, but he's no Kobe.
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